Our approach to sustainability

Icelandair Group’s strategy in corporate responsibility is based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals have become a universal language of governments and businesses to work towards a more sustainable future.

Our responsibility model

Strategic focus areas and key goals

Based on involvement of all functions and business units, Icelandair Group has chosen four Global Goals as its strategic focus. These represent areas where the Company identifies it can best create shared value and thereby contribute to a more sustainable future.

Specific targets have been set for the Company’s key focus areas in corporate responsibility and action plans developed. As the Company has been heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a few are still being explored that will be further developed when operations resume.

Read more about the actions taken in 2020 in each section of the report.

Stakeholder engagement

Icelandair Group has an ongoing dialogue and cooperation with a wide range of stakeholders through its business operations and customer engagement, which involves sustainability-related issues as well. The Company participates in a number of initiatives where its gains input in its our overall strategy and approach to responsibility such as FESTA, the Icelandic Sustainability Network and the ‘25 by 25’ initiative with IATA. In addition, Company respresentatives participate in panel discussions and events focused on sustainability issues to gain further information on stakeholder perspectives.

In 2020, the Company continued to review its responsibility-focused stakeholders such as NGOs, business partners, the tourism industry and business associations. The events of the year 2020 have reinforced the Company's identification of its primary stakeholders where it has added Shareholders to the list following a successfull share offering in September 2020, resulting in a considerable increase in the number of shareholders.

Our primary stakeholders

Business partners and suppliers



NGOs and business associations

Government and regulators

Tourism industry


Primary stakeholders Our responsibility
Business partners and suppliers + Sustainability
+ Good business practices
+ Responsible supply chain
Employees + Health and safety
+ Equal rights and equal pay
+ Employee satisfaction
+ Training and competence development
Customers + Health and safety
+ Simplicity in booking process and change process
NGOs and business associations + Sustainability
+ Good business practices
Government and regulators + Compliance with regulations
Tourism industry + Cooperation groups
+ Sustainability
Shareholders + Good business practices
+ Good governance practices
+ Sustainable growth

Materiality assessment

Icelandair Group has performed a materiality analysis to identify its key economic, environmental and social matters. As a background for the materiality analysis, the Company worked with an industry benchmark, a trend analysis, a sustainability risk assessment and a mapping of its significant positive and negative impact on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the results of its stakeholder dialogue.

The wider team representing all business areas within Icelandair Group then validated, in a workshop format, the most material issues for Icelandair Group. All issues are covered in this report.

Material issues for Icelandair Group

  • Passenger safety and wellbeing
  • Climate impacts
  • Environmental impacts
  • Employee health and safety
  • Employee motivation and satisfaction
  • Competence development and training
  • Gender diversity
  • Economic contribution to the Icelandic economy
  • Responsible procurement
  • Business ethics and anti-corruption
  • Governance

The SDGs where we have the most significant impact

Icelandair Group's responsiblity strategy is based on the Sustainable Development Goals. The four key goals that were chosen represent areas where the Company concluded that it can have a significant impact and create shared value.

Goal 5: Gender Equality with a special focus on sub-goal 5.5 to ensure full participation in leadership and decision-making. Here, Icelandair Group focuses on the gender ratio at the management level, and among its pilots, flight crew and technical staff to work towards a more equal representation.

Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth with a special focus on Iceland and 8.3 to promote policies to support job creation and growing enterprises, and 8.9 to promote beneficial and sustainable tourism. Here, Icelandair Group focused on understanding and increasing its positive economic contribution to the tourism sector in Iceland, and to the Icelandic economy as a whole as one of the country’s largest companies.

Goal 12: Responsible Production and Consumption with a special focus on its own operations, 12.7 to promote sustainable procurement practices, and on waste for 12.3 and 12.5 to halve global per capita food waste and substantially reduce waste generation. Here, Icelandair Group focused on promoting sustainable and responsible procurement practices for its different companies, and as well as on working to reduce waste across its operations.

Goal 13: Climate Action with a special focus on its flight operations and ground vehicles to ensure that the Company does all it can to limit its climate impact.

About the report

Icelandair Group presents its responsibility information in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI) standards, core level. The sustainability information presented in the responsibility report for 2020 has not been assured by an external party.

This report addresses all the material aspects reflecting Icelandair Group's significant economic, environmental and social impacts. Those matters were identified and evaluated on the basis of a materiality assessment that involved input from the Company’s main stakeholders. It describes Icelandair Group's opportunities, risks and progress made in the field of responsibility during 2020.

Icelandair Group is in cooperation with Klappir – Green Solutions to track and follow the environmental aspects of Icelandair Group, to foster the data, ensure traceability, integrity, transparency, usefulness and reliability of the data set.

This report covers the global activities of Icelandair Group, excluding Icelandair Hotels except for the amount of employees where the hotels are counted in the first quarter of 2020.

Company SDGs Description of services
Icelandair 5,8,12,13 The largest entity of the group,the international passenger airline, including its subsidiary Icelandair Cargo
Iceeignir 12 A real estate company that holds the real estate of Icelandair Group
Loftleidir Icelandic 5,8,13 Offers aircraft leasing and consulting services to international passenger airlines and tour operators
Iceland Travel 5,8 The largest incoming tour operator in Iceland
Air Iceland Connect 5,8,12,13 The domestic and regional carrier
Feria (Vita) 5,8,13 Operates under the name VITA as an outgoing tour operator

The Sustainability Report refers to the period from January 1 to December 31, 2020.